Saturday, August 30, 2008

ALERT:Cut off low means South Africa's sea conditions very dangerous this weekend

NVDL: If you had plans to go fishing, surfing or diving this weekend, better cancel them.

Dispatch: Pretoria-based meteorologist Ezekiel Sebego predicted that there would be very rough seas with swells of eight metres and more.

He said an intense cold front accompanied by a well-developed upper trough is also expected. “This is normal at this time of the year as August is usually the windy month and we expect very rough seas with swells,” said Sebego.

However, he said it was not usual for destructive waves to coincide with spring high tides.
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The Weather Service warned that storm-strength winds exceeding 80km/h are expected along the Western Cape Coast, south of Cape Point, spreading to East London on Sunday.

This would cause massive swells along the Western Cape coast, spreading to Durban by Sunday evening.

National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) spokesperson Craig Lambinon advised boaters not to launch to sea unless it was absolutely necessary.

He also warned that there were more than 600 logs that were lost off a ship in Cape Town in August. Some were recovered, but those that weren’t may pose an increased risk.

He said the weather conditions that the country would experience were known as a “cut-off low system”.

According to senior researcher Marius Rossouw at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), ever since they started doing wave recordings in 1992, the highest wave height they recorded in East London was 9.3m in June 1997.

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